It seems impossible to ask an 18 year old, fresh out of high school, to choose a major and a career path that will dictate their future. Take it from someone who has had five (yes, FIVE) majors over the course of her college career. I came to UK as an “undecided,” and quickly switched to nursing because it seemed like every girl in my dorm was in the program. Easy choice… Just jump on the bandwagon right? Well, I worked my butt off getting into our competitive nursing school (which I did!), but had a change of heart the summer after my freshman year upon realizing that being in nursing school meant I actually was going to have to be a nurse when I graduated.
I knew that I wanted a profession that would allow me to be around people rather than spending hours stuck behind a giant desk in a cubicle the size of my shower, with fluorescent lights overhead. So my second major? Elementary education. It didn’t take long for me to realize this one wasn’t for me, so I switched, yet again.
This time I went with what I was truly interested in and made dietetics my new major. I stuck with this for a semester, but after realizing that there was no possible way for me to graduate in four years (I can thank all those chemistry classes for that!), I decided to switch my major yet again. For a long time, I regretted switching from dietetics just because nutrition and the human body are both so interesting to me.
I made a big jump with my next major change from dietetics to integrated strategic communications. I figured at this point that I obviously had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, so I chose something broad, and figured I could do a lot of different things with communications. I stuck with this one for a few semesters, but began to dislike that my classes were becoming more and more about advertising, which was something I didn’t have much interest in.
My final change was to journalism. At the end of the day, writing just seemed so natural to me and was something that I really loved to do. Regardless of whether or not I actually become a journalist, the writing and communication skills I’ve learned over the past semesters will be so valuable to me in any career I may choose.
So there you have it — my journey from nursing to journalism, and everything in between. I joke about my crazy major-changing story all the time, but really I’m proud of myself for truly listening to my heart, and not simply settling for something I wasn’t entirely passionate about. Now, just months before I graduate, I am fully aware of what it is that I DON’T want to do, which seems just as valuable as having a clear career path.
I am learning to trust the process, and I have no doubt that I will end up with the career that is perfectly tailored to me. Let this be a lesson to all college freshmen trying to decide what major is right for you: the lessons you learn outside of the classroom are SO much more important and valuable to your future. Just follow your passions and the right major with find YOU!